ONE YANKEE BULLET
Hebrews 9:27-28 (KJV), "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."
Archie was born March 11, 1824. He grew up in Moore County near Wolf Creek and the towns of Star and Biscoe. He married Elizabeth Comer on August 13, 1861 and they built a home on the banks of Wolf Creek. They settled down to a life of farming and raising a family. However, all this was interrupted by the late unpleasantness known by us Southerners as the War Between the States.
Archie, being a family man, did not enlist immediately when the war started. After all, he was 37 years old and had a wife and farm to support. He, like everyone else, thought the South would lick the Yanks in just a few short weeks. Then, in October he got the news that his wife was pregnant. She gave birth to their first child, Peter Wiley Callicutt, on July 8, 1862.
The War continued to rage, and Archie felt it was time for him to do his duty, even if he did have a family and farm to support. He enlisted in the Confederate Army on September 1, 1863 as a private in Company D, 15th North Carolina Regiment, A.P. Hill’s Corps.
He was an active participant in the major battles of the spring campaign of 1864, including the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor, Reams Station, and Petersburg.
Surely he dodged many a Yankee bullet and artillery round during this period of time. He did his duty well, serving under his captain, Y.A. Oldham. He was with Robert E. Lee to the very last, being paroled at Appomattox Court House, Virginia on April 10, 1865. His parole pass is today still owned by the Callicutt family, proof that Archie faithfully performed his duty to the very end.
Archie made his way back to Wolf Creek, walking the whole distance from Appomattox. There he added to his family over the years. James Phillip Callicut was born March 22, 1866. A daughter, Franciea, was born June 19, 1869. Schylar Colfax Callicutt was born June 6, 1871. John was born July 11, 1873. Another daughter, Janie, was born June 24, 1875. Archibald Callicutt Jr. was born on December 25, 1877. Finally, William came along on August 10, 1881. Archie had a large family. Archie’s children grew up and eventually had children of their own. Today, Archie’s descendants live in many places in North Carolina and in several other states including Florida and South Carolina.
Archie struggled to pay his taxes in the years after the war, like almost everyone else in the postwar South. He made a poor dirt farming living, barely getting by. Eventually he fell over dead one day, doing what he enjoyed—farming. He died on July 15, 1896 and is buried within site of the old house he built with his own hands on land he once owned and which, until recently, was still owned by members of the Callicutt family.
Archie made it through the war when so many others didn’t. Many children that would have been born were never conceived because so many good men lost their lives fighting for Southern Independence. Indeed, all it would have taken for seven of Archie’s eight children to have never been born is for one Yankee bullet to have found its mark and struck Archie dead on the battle-field.
Seven of his children and all their descendants would have never had the opportunity to live and contribute to North Carolina and the United States. Perhaps this is why the War for Southern Independence is taken so personally by many in the South today. Many of us have Confederate ancestors and we would not be here today if they had died in the War.
And yes, I am one of these. Archie, Archibald Callicutt, who wanted nothing more than to raise a family and farm his piece of land, was my Great-Great Grandfather. His son, Schylar Colfax Callicutt, born June 6, 1871 was my Great-Grandfather.
One Yankee bullet could have prevented me from ever being born . If you find yourself in similar circumstances then you understand that this is very personal and is more than just something you read about in history books. The smell of powder is still in the air for those of us who understand that the War Between the States was a very personal war and we choose to remember and honor those who fought in it.
As a footnote, it is interesting (at least to me) that today I have two daughters that would not be here today had one Yankee bullet found its mark in Archie. Their names are Angela Kelly Jones, age 25, and Megan Schylar Jones, age 15. Megan is, of course, named after Schylar Colfax Callicutt, my Great-Grandfather. It is also interesting (at least to me) that Schylar Colfax was Vice President of the United States under Ulysses S. Grant and that my Great Grandfather was named after him. Schylar Callicutt, my Great-Grandfather, had six children, who themselves had a total of 38 children among them.
Please pray for our country, children, and troops worldwide. The War on Terror is also personal because the terrorists we fight seek to destroy our country, families, and way of life.